by Elizabeth Ruiz
A man who was smoking while using an oxygen tank is being blamed for a 2-alarm fire that caused $250,000 damage to the Portofino Apartments on Fredericksburg Road near Bluemel.
"An occupant admitted that he was smoking while he was using an oxygen tank. There was a flash fire and he attempted to extinguish the fire, but it quickly flared up," said San Antonio Fire Shift Commander Ron Rodriguez.
A neighbor tried to help the man, but he was overcome by smoke. Both men were transported to Methodist Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation.
Two units were destroyed and six others were damaged by the blaze that started around 10:30 Tuesday night..
"Eight people were displaced, but they were assisted by apartment management and the Red Cross. They were relocated on site or nearby sister apartments or they stayed with family," Rodriguez told 550 KTSA News.
The local chapter of the American Red Cross will go to the site Wednesday morning to provide assistance with food, clothing and other necessities.